News and Updates


Changes and updates for 2023 - important!


Houstonfest Scholarships


Scholarships at State


State Promo Video Contest


Arrival at Heights High School


Lunch options


Contest Promo Video #1 (students from one school tell why they love contest)


Contest Promo Video #2 (one student tells why she loves contest)


Teacher-to-Teacher Tips


"Texas State German Contest at 40" newsletter series (full of tips for contest prep and Pass auf! study material)


Tips for Pair Discussion


Photo Gallery


Daily log of changes to state-qualifier list



Important Dates


Tue., Jan. 17, 2023, 11:59 p.m.Houstonfest registration spreadsheet due for regular price of $12/student (payment does not have to be mailed until 1/23).


Mon., Jan. 23, 2023, 11:59 p.m.Houstonfest registration spreadsheet due for late price of $15/student. Deadline to postmark Houstonfest payment.


Sat., Jan. 28, 2023, 9:00 a.m.:  Submission of entries in the 7 virtual Houstonfest events due (get link to Google Form from your teacher).


Tue., Jan. 31, 2023, 11:59 p.m.:  Remote judging of the 7 virtual Houstonfest events ends.


Wed., Feb. 1, 2023, 9:00 p.m. Houstonfest changes (adds, drops, substitutions) due. After this point, no more changes will be allowed.


Sat., Feb. 4, 2023 Houstonfest, Heights High School, Houston


Fri., Feb. 10, 2023, 11:59 p.m.:  State online registration due for "early bird" price of $12/student (payment does not have to be mailed until 2/15).


Wed., Feb. 15, 2023, 11:59 p.m.:  State online registration due for regular price of $15/student. Deadline to postmark State payment.


Sat., Feb. 18, 2023, 9:00 a.m.:  Submission of entries in the 7 virtual State events due (get link to Google Form from your teacher). Also, Mary El-Beheri Memorial Scholarship applications due.


Mon., Feb. 20, 2023, 8:00 p.m.:  Entries in promotional video contest due to State director.


Tue., Feb. 21, 2023, 11:59 p.m.:  Remote judging of the 7 virtual State events ends.


Sat., Feb. 25, 2023Texas State German Contest, Texas State University, San Marcos


Sat., Mar. 4, 2023, 11:59 p.m. Houstonfest Scholarship applications due.


Sun., Mar. 12, 2023 Gail Cope State Scholarship applications due.


Sun., April 30, 2023 Gail Cope Teacher Grant applications due.

Teacher-to-Teacher Tips


This is the place for teachers to share tried-and-true strategies for preparing students for Houstonfest.  If you have a tip you'd like to share, submit it to the contest director.



Houstonfest director Rustin Buck, now retired from teaching, is willing to visit your school to make a presentation about Houstonfest to your classes or your German Club. Contact him to arrange a date.




Sign-Up List


I'm not sure how everyone handles having the students sign up for events, but here is a sign-up list that has spaces for all events offered at Houstonfest (meant to be printed and filled in by hand, although I guess you could type in it, too):


sign-up list for a normal, in-person contest (updated for 2023)


After talking to my classes about what Houstonfest is, I designate one morning a few days later when I hang up these lists around the room 30 minutes before school starts, and students can come in to sign up for what they want to do, first-come, first-served. We continue filling them up during class throughout the day. This is usually in October for me -- some may want to start earlier or later.


Even if you have a different method, the list may be useful for you because it has all events listed with the correct number of slots that are available for each. For group events that have no maximum size (folk dance, skit, etc.), I included  a number of slots that I thought would be at the upper end of how many kids might want to sign up.


- submitted by Rustin Buck


Gail Cope, a retired German teacher and one of the co-founders of the Texas German contest system, has published a series of newsletters in anticipation of the 40th anniversary of the Texas State German Contest in 2022. These newsletters contain a wealth of tips for preparing students for contest as well as lots of study material specifically applicable to the Culture tests and Pass auf!


Texas State German Contest at 40 Newsletters

April-May 2021

June 2021

July 2021

August 2021

September 2021

October 2021

November-December 2021

January-February 2022


Pass auf! Study Guides


The State director of Pass auf! has provided a Pass auf! Study Guide and a Vocabulary List for Erdkunde to guide contestants' studying.


As of 2017 there is a designated theme for each year. See more information on the Pass auf! Rules Page, Rule #7.  The theme for 2023 is Scientists in the D-A-CH-L Länder - Space, Medicine, Math. There will be at least one question per round dealing with the year's theme. Past themes were the Protestant Reformation (in 2017 in honor of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's posting of his 95 Theses on October 31, 1517), the German-Speaking World 1914-1945 (in 2018 inspired by the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I), German-Americans (2019), German-Texans (2020), no Pass auf! contest in 2021, and Bach/Beethoven/Brahms (2022).



Compilation of tips from fall 2012 TFLA session by Rustin Buck and Jennifer Christianson:

link to webpage on Sprachfest site

as PDF



Sample Drama Pieces


Google Folder with many samples


- submitted by Jennifer Martin


Contacts for Polka Band Music


TRN Music Publisher, Inc.


- submitted by Laura Braun


Source of Choral Music - lots of free PDFs of choral music; just look up a German composer by last name.


- submitted by Laura Braun


Sources of Poetry/Prose Selections


Projekt Gutenberg (inexhaustible compendium of literature that is out of copyright!)


- submitted by Laura Braun

My Ukrainian exchange student just showed me a great website for German poetry. As far as I can tell, every German poem ever written is on this site. There are just thousands upon thousands of poems with the names of the authors. It's definitely a good resource for contest.


- submitted by David Kniess


When is the next Houstonfest?



February 4, 2023


Where is Houstonfest?


Heights High School

413 E. 13th Street, Houston, TX 77008


Link to Texas State German Contest


Texas State German Contest on Facebook


Texas State German Contest 40th Anniversary Facebook Group